Tag Archives: rug hooking

Summer Vacation and Study in Ontario

Square Bales in Ontario

 Ready for a vacation and yet don’t want to travel too far?  Think learning about rughooking would be fun too?  Canada is a great destination for many New Englanders and those in Northern NY.  Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario is a great setting for both of these goals.  The Summer Arts Program includes three different sessions with rug hooking artists, of course I would recommend July 16-20 with me! See the full catalog here Summer Arts 2012 Loyalist College, Belleville, ON  Registration begins April 13.

Working through a Project

Stained glass artist, Anne-Renee’ Livingston of Virginia Beach, VA created a design which I have interepreted into a pattern for rug hooking (it has also been used by a quilter, ceramist, woodworker, and digital photographer but that is another post).  My title for the pattern is “Mountain Treeline” and it measures 12″ x 24″.  The first time I approached the design I used a bright Fall palette. 


Then I added one more tree and called it “All 4 Seasons” using a bright cheery turquoise sky.  This post is about the neutral colorway and my decision making steps for a third interpretation.  


I like to select as much variety in values, including textural and solid fabrics and not photographed but included are several yarns — alpaca neutrals spun in Hampshire County at Capon Bridge Fiber Works.   Although I call this a “neutral” version it is more towards warm range from natural through deep chocolate and cool jolts of black and gray with some excitement thrown in by the yellow family.

As I got hooking/creating each tree spoke to where it was in the line up, two on left are on another rise beyond one field, the front row definitely has some out in front and others taking back stage.  The brightest (off white) is not the immediate center image, therefore not hitting the viewer in the face and stopping your eye from moving around.  I remembered to experiment with textures behind solids if they are similar in value, adding to the depth.  

Here is where there was a change and some pulling out.  The farthest right tree anchored the edge with a flat gray yarn.  By switching the textured and lighter wool in the tree third from right with the gray I gave a darker value behind the gold  and lighter ending to the righthand edge. 

Second version strong line

First I thought to create some interest by leaving a line of dark gray in the textured tree only.  But that is too strong and drew my eye only to the “branch”. 

removed line

Removed it and hooked the yarns between the two sections instead, better.

Skyline and foreground in golds

 One last decision was the choice of foreground fabrics.  I was certain the golds would be great pulling into all fields that hue and even went to the extent of stitching the two pieces onto the linen backing.  But it just didn’t ring to me.  

The selection of gray plaid for the small field on left and then brown/black plaid as the foreground seems to anchor the design, invite you to view the details, and be drawn all the way to the interesting skyline in the background.   

  I am going to stretch this piece around artist stretcher bars and hand stitch wool around the edges to complete it as the other two are, simple and all fiber. Comments in the form of critiques are welcome.  Question I would pose is would you have stopped sooner in my process and called it finished?

Book Released to Rave Reviews

The book is out and we are pleased with the responses.

Go to our store at www.RuckmanMillFarm.com to order an autographed copy. 

Readers have said: “I will definitely use this as a “go to” guide for my students.”

Wendie ScottDavis,Ontario CANADA

“Got your book yesterday and started to read it this morning. I think this book will be a great teaching tool for many years to come… just wonderful!”Linda Rae Coughlin,New Jersey

“I received your book It is GREAT!! It is very easy to read and ALOT of information I think it is one of the best Rug Hooking has put out.” Margaret Wenger, Pennsylvania

Canada Tour

Feeling abit like the Royal Couple, (Will and Kate), I have been in Canada since June 24th, hosted by Susan Sutherland in the Kitchener/Waterloo area to conduct a fraktur design workshop within the Mennonite region of the design source.  The following hostess was Anne Boissinot who lives near the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg.  We toured this museum complex for a full day, exchanging our artistic views.  What a great way to learn– visit a museum with a friend with similar interests.

I stopped briefly at Rittermere-Hurst-Field to lunch with Jeanne Field, Andrea Shepphard and the family/workers.  Will be back for the Circle of Friends on July 9th in Aurora.  See www.Letshookrugs.com for information.

Now in Belleville for the two weeks, enjoyed Canada Day by touring Prince Edward County.  Art exhibits, farmers markets, and a beautiful day all recorded in my mind or on camera.  Took shots of the sun moving across a mowed field highlighting bands at a time.  The square bales were stacked in pyramids to be picked up later.  Shapes, light and values were on my mind since this is the theme for the Loyalist College class beginning July 11th.  www.Loyalistfocus.com see Susan Feller for details, opening in class still.

Manistee Michigan – whirlwind tour

Just a quick note, and I will update this post with images later in July.The Western Shore Ruggers of Manistee and Onekama areas in Central Michigan, hosted another successful weeklong rug hooking camp.

The work which came out into the hallway to be viewed on Thursday from the five classes proved there were very serious teaching and learning going on. 

Since this was my first time as an instructor, not to be my last  (coming back in 2014), I was thrilled to spend evenings with the others and our tour guide.  We visited the 95 tall Giant Sequoia, the sand dunes and Lake Michigan and numerous lakes along the way.  More details to come.

Feet wet in the Pacific and fun at Cambria

Susan and Nola and the Pacific

A week on the Central Coast of California in early June extended our Spring weather right when it was 100 degrees and humid in West Virginia!

Cambria Rug School is held at Cambria Pines Lodge and filled with wonderfully talented people.  Seven instructors with a wide range of experiences, and 90 students with guests filled classrooms and dining areas from Sunday evening until Friday at lunch.

Gene and Nola Heidbreder looking at the Pacific Ocean

 Gene Shepherd coordinated a great week with teaching, as auctioneer and as tour guide.  The Pacific Ocean was very cold, but exhilarating as Nola and I got our feet washed, and warmed again on the dark black sand on Wednesday afternoon.  We saw pelicans bathing and flying overhead along with seagulls of all shades.

We also squeezed in a trip to Hearst Castle after classes on Thursday.     There is a view!  Thankfully the family and state have preserved 13 miles of coastline with conservation easements. 

Hearst Castle Pool and view

Laurel Mountains 2011

Becky Headley’s Family Tree

 Family trees, Floral Bouquets and Spring Rabbits were popular subjects for the Fraktur patterns created by students in the Laurel Mountains workshop.

This was the first time I had come to Ligonier, and truly enjoyed the town and Ramada Inn where Shirley Engel and her crew coordinated another successful workshop.
The other instructors were Jayne Hester and Barb Carroll working with wide cuts and wonderful textured wools.  And Nancy Blood instructing fine cuts using values and detailed drawings.

Top 15 Tamarack Artists! Thanks

WVLiving Magazine has just announced on their Facebook page that I am one of the 15 Top Tamarack Artists!   Much thanks to my worldwide audience who entered the pole at http://wvlivingmagazine.com

I will be featured in an article in the Summer issue along with the other artists.  A new order of my hooked mini-mats will be delivered the first week of May to TAMARACK.

Mini Mats by Susan L. Feller

A stop at “the Best of West Virginia” when traveling on I64/I79 is sure to please all of your senses.

Loyalist Schedule

The summer program for Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, Canada will be online at www.LoyalistFocus.com on March 25.  My class is listed for the week of July 11-15 and can be found on page 19 of the catalog.  I am thrilled to add that one of my pieces was selected for the back cover also.  Rug hooking on the cover of a college brochure!

Value scale and swatches

The class will focus on VALUE and the other Elements and Principles of design. Bring a work in progress for consultation.  There will be daily exercises using rughooking and we will work up a new pattern for each person.  Expect to incorporate contrast, and values into  your design. Geometrics would be a great way to address this subtle, yet very valuable element.

I will be studying at the McMichaels Collection outside of Toronto the week before and expect to bring these experiences to the class.

I lodge at the College also and am looking forward to spending evening hours with resident students.  We had a great time the last two years visiting Belleville restaurants, eating on campus and going out to the County.

Two workshops with openings

Butterfly detail from Conatined Garden Friends

There are a few spaces left in two great workshops this Spring: Contact the directors quickly to get your deposits in– love to see you and spend time working with you.  Check out the Calendar page to see where else we could meet.

May 1- 5 teaching at Laurel Mountains, Ligonier, PA Design a Rug with Folk Art motifs, Learn the History of PA German Frakturs Shirley Engel director contact Shirley for details at shirlet@zoominternet.net see Barb Carroll’s site for more about Laurel Mountains… http://www.woolleyfox.com

May 8-13 teaching at Cedar Lakes Rug Camp, Ripley, WV
Open class:Folk Art to Design whatever you want to concentrate on this year. In its 46th year this camp is a wonderful relaxed experience. Nancy and Fred Blair directors  email thhkrugs@alteco.net  or call 616-895-6378